My 5 Best Purchases Of the Year So Far

I’m not a big shopper, but I do occasionally stumble across something that makes a genuine difference to my day-to-day life. Here are five from this year:

1) Netgear RBK50 Mesh Wifi System (£289)

I have a house with thick walls, so there is no chance the WiFi network from my router can span the whole house. In the past, I used an adapter that plugged into the electric sockets to extend the network.  The problem  was each plug created its own wifi zone, so I ended up with 5 zones in the house. This prevented me from connecting all my devices via wifi, which was a pain. Continue reading “My 5 Best Purchases Of the Year So Far”

The Subversive Origin Of the Monopoly Board Game (3 min read)

We’ve all played Monopoly. You go around the board, try to accumulate sets of properties (ideally the green and dark blue ones), build hotels and then drive everyone else into bankruptcy. It can often drag on and on, but it’s worth the wait if it means you defeat your siblings. But did you know that this celebration of monopolistic capitalism was actually based on a game that was meant to show the evils of monopolies?! Continue reading “The Subversive Origin Of the Monopoly Board Game (3 min read)”

The Joy Of Communal Singing (3 min read)

I can’t sing. I can’t play a instrument. And if I have choice between listening to music or a podcast, I pick the latter. Yet, I know that being too “heady” is not healthy. So I’m always trying to find activities that are physical (like running ) or artistic (like painting) as an offset. But my latest activity has to be my bravest yet – attending a singing workshop! Continue reading “The Joy Of Communal Singing (3 min read)”

How To Create An Enduring Bestseller (6 min read)

Do you remember the films “The Flintstones” starring John Goodman or  “The Santa Clause” starring Tim Allen? How about “I Love Trouble” with Julia Roberts or “The Shadow” with Alec Baldwin? Well, they all came out in 1994 and they all made more money than a certain Continue reading “How To Create An Enduring Bestseller (6 min read)”

The Oldest Book Ever Written On Trading Stocks (It’s 330 years old!)

In the 1600s, the world’s first stock exchange was established in Amsterdam. In 1688, a trader by the name of Josef de la Vega wrote “Confusion Of Confusions” – the world’s oldest surviving account of trading stocks. The book is an amazing record of the business. Yet despite being written over 300 years ago, it sounds eerily familiar to our markets today. Continue reading “The Oldest Book Ever Written On Trading Stocks (It’s 330 years old!)”

Life Advice From the Best Sports Coach Of All-Time (7 min read)


It was a sad day last weekend when I discovered that my local second-hand book shop, Copperfields, was closing down (see picture). The only silver lining was that all books were selling for incredibly low prices and I ended up buying books I would not normally buy. One that stood out was called “The Essential Vince Lombardi” – it cost £2! I had vaguely heard of Lombardi with his saying “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”. Continue reading “Life Advice From the Best Sports Coach Of All-Time (7 min read)”

Why Business Plans Are a Waste Of Time (5 min read)

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I was clearing my stuff recently and I came across some business plans from previous years. They were all well written with nice flow charts, action points and promises of better performance. Of course, what we did over the following quarters and years had no connection to the business plan. I doubt I’m alone in this experience. In fact, I imagine most management deep down think that business plans are a waste of time. Continue reading “Why Business Plans Are a Waste Of Time (5 min read)”

Best Of the Web: Nightmarish AI Pictures, Hipster Goats and Low-Carb Diets

Here’s my latest batch of great articles I’ve come across on the web. Enjoy!

Tech World (7)

Who Wants To Be A YouTube Billionaire? Great article describing the landscape of YouTube stars. Worth reading with this piece which argues that the old system of endorsements from big studios, TV shows or other “authorities” no longer holds for artists – the field is wide open, and you need to stand out, and also this piece, which argues that the education system needs to teach people the art of iteration. Continue reading “Best Of the Web: Nightmarish AI Pictures, Hipster Goats and Low-Carb Diets”

How Well Do You Know the Good Or Bad State Of the World?

The late Hans Rosling found fame through his TED talks on visualising facts about the world. His last book,“Factfulness”, was published this year, and is a great read.

The thrust of the book is that we lazily make assumptions about the world, which are not based on facts, and then go on to formulate big world views. To make his point, he starts his book with 13 questions on the state of the world. I was surprised by many of the answers. Here are the questions (and the answers). See if you get them right!

13 Questions About the World

1. In all low-income countries across the world today, how many girls finish primary school? Continue reading “How Well Do You Know the Good Or Bad State Of the World?”